To accept a caution for common assault or not?

Ok so I'll try to keep this simple, I was due to move out of a property in 2 weeks time and had recevied and paid my damages invoice. However, I asked a simple question about the invoice. 

This resulted in my landladies (I'm a lodger) boyfriend hammering and kicking my door, waking me up and giving me abuse for asking a question. He told me he would throw me out by my hair, this continued as I tried to inform my landlady I'd be leaving that day and had paid my invoice. 

I then went back to my room to start getting stuff together when and called the police as I felt unsafe. I'd been in the property 2 years and thought I had a good relationship with my landlady so I just informed her I had called the police for support. 

As I came out of my room she started screaming that I'd made things worse, and her friend turned up. Her boyfriend then blocked entry to my room telling me to get out before he threw me out by my hair as he had done so to others before. He then went in my room telling me to get something warm on, I followed to get stuff and realised I couldn't leave my pets or medication and said I just wanted to leave peacefully. 

He continued to shout and moved his arm, I slapped him thinking it he was about to grab me. 

I managed to move my stuff out and the police took him off for a chat where he wants to press charges for assault. So after I'd packed up the police officer invited me along for a chat. 

He told me that he couldn't make it go away and I could accept a caution or have it investigated but to seek legal advice first. 

I have not at any point been arrested and have an interview today, and have a solicitor, but the police man has told me that the 2 witnesses who arrived half way through the incident have admitted there was a disagreement but haven't said he was being agressive. 

Since then I have had emails from my former landlady saying she invoiced incorrectly and it will cost her more to fix, threats of pressing charges and ruining my future. (the damage is caused by damp walls, some scratches on furniture etc) She has also found my new landlady and emailed her with allegations so I have raised a harassment complaint against her. 

I am now worried for my future, despite my previous landlady who will always give me a glowing reference and a truthful one, also character references. 

Based on the witnesses saying that the agressor wasn't being agressive I am now concerned a court would believe this 6ft tall man over me. 

I don't deny that I slapped him, once and it didn't even leave a red mark. However; I believed I was in danager, my animals in danger and outnumbered. 

The policeman says he does have enough evidence to go to court and if I am convicted it will be a discharge or fine. 

I know my solicitor will be able to help when he sees the statements and my statement etc but this whole experience is making me ill. I suffer with chronic anxiety and depression, I've not been able to eat since the incident and hardly got out of bed. 

I don't work in a profession where a CRB is needed and don't intend to. Part of me wants to just accept a caution and make them go away so I can get on with my life.

I'm not sure if I can cope with months waiting to see if the CPS believe him over me and if I'll end up with much worse on my file. 

If you have a solicitor

then they should advise you. Why pay for legal advice if you do not wish to make use of it?

Profile: Interested in the subject

Your choice. But in the

Your choice.

But in the circumstances I wouldn't accept a caution in a months of Sundays.

You must remember it is for the prosecution to prove you didn't act in self- defence - based on your belief as to what was necessary.

This means that provided you acted within reason based on your understanding of the force required to repel the assault or anticipated assault then no offence is committed.

A slap on the face appears entirely within reasonable bounds - indeed quite restrained.

And I should also tell the police you require them to prosecute the other party. 

Common Assault, and an offence under S6 Criminal Law Act 1977.(violence for securing entry).

Stand your ground and I suspect this will go away.


Profile: retired barrister legal adviser with MOJ.

Could the neighbours have

Could the neighbours have heard him hammering on the door and shouting? If so, have your solicitor approach them and see if they’re willing to provide a statement? 

It’s not ideal that the witnesses say he wasn’t being aggressive HOWEVER as davidr says, the belief in the necessity to use force to defend yourself is subjective. In other words, even if he wasn’t being aggressive, if you interpreted the situation as such then you are entitled to use reasonable force to defend yourself. It is how YOU saw the situation that matters.

The police shouldn’t be offering a caution if you’re denying the offence. A caution is for an admission. Makes me wonder if they’re actually planning on going ahead at all... 

I would advise you not to accept it and take it to court if necessary.

A caution not only affects job prospects (who knows what you will want to do in the future - I had no idea what I wanted to do 10 years ago) but also things like travelling to other countries. Yes, a conviction will have a worse impact, but based on what you’ve told me I’m not at all convinced you’ll be convicted!

However, the one thing I would say is definitely seek your solicitor’s advice because he will get disclosure from the police and will be better informed than us about the strength of the evidence.

Kind Regards


All posts are for discussion purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. 

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